Abstract

The Ramos field in the Argentine Northwest Basin constitutes the largest gas reserve throughout its extension, the country's second proved reserve, and it has the well with the largest single production in the Southern extreme of South America. The formation of Pluspetrol Energy S.A. as a company having power generation as its main purpose and aimed at the best utilization of the available product, is concentrated on the vertical integration of production, transportation, and thermoelectric generation through the use of natural gas as raw material.

Such integration starting in the production area, projects for its final stage the setting up of a power plant in El Bracho, Province of Tucuman, some 600 km away from the production field.

The power plant site has been chosen based on the availability of power transportation capacity with access to the large consumption areas. Diverse alternatives have been analyzed across Campo Duran-Buenos Aires gas pipe and the production area itself has also been considered as a possible location. The power generation process, initiated with the installation of an open cycle of 152 MW will he expanded to 304 MW with the addition of the second gas turbine generator. In the final stage, with the conversion to combined cycle, the gross power output will reach 460 MW.

In the national sphere, there have been cases in which gas production and power generation have been integrated in the production area itself while the experience described constitutes the first attempt in which the producer has assumed field development, allowing for transportation increase, -in this case at the expense of third-parties-, and creating the consumption market through the setting up of a power plant.

The project involves a total investment of some 200 million dollars.

Introduction

The Ramos field is located in the forest alp-like region of the province of Salta towards the Northwest of our country. The reservoir under consideration was discovered by YPF through the drilling of Well Rxp 11 at a depth of 4400 meters in the year 1976. (Figure 1).

Field development started in 1979 through the drilling of Wells R12 and R15.

Pluspetrol Energy S.A. (previously Pluspetrol S.A.) operates the field as from 1980, being entitled to a 60% share interest in the Ramos Consortium formed by Tecpetrol S.A. (25%) and Astra CAPSA (15%).

Since taking possession of the production area, the Consortium drilled another seven wells and a horizontal branch was drilled in Well R.15, the current potential being 7.00 MM m3/day.

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